Released: 2013, Century Media
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Conceived as a result of a drunken night in 1997, Finntroll, have since sobered up numerous times to find their unique mix of “Humppa” style Finnish polka folk melodies combined with metal, to be more popular than ever. In March 2013 they bring us their sixth full-length album. As to be expected, this creation is a storming collection of powerful and entertaining folk driven metal, with the added surprise of ventures into genres new to the sounds generated by these crazy Finns. Overall the production is less polished than previous album 'Niflvind” and returns them to their blackened origins; pretty much mid-way between the aforementioned album and 2004 release 'Nattfödd'. The album artwork finds Finntroll adopting a Steampunk/fantasy image which is aptly in keeping with the eclectic soundscape of 'Blodsvept'.
Proceedings open with the title track, an intro of grumbling troll-like effects, falling into a blackened galloping beast, backed by symphonic elements. These are calmed midway through by a folkish instrumental, before getting back to classic Finntroll business.
'Ett Folk Förbannat' comes with a surprise, bearing psychobilly surf-like melodies and a marching tempo. It is all too easy to image a manically grinning troll thumping out the bass lines on a double bass, alongside the rest of the crazy bastards!
There is no letting up in the momentum for 'När Jättar Marschera'. A headbang inducing stormer backed by brass, which adds the all important Finntroll 'Humppa' sound and consequent fun elements. It is followed by ‘Mordminnen’, which takes us back to rock 'n' roll double bass thumping, dominated by the Humppa brass section and backed by galloping drums. Unmistakably Finntroll in its craziness.
'Rösets Kung' is more of a classic folk metal affair, and in parts is of a character more expected from Korpiklaani. The band themselves describe the song’s influence as New Orleans Dixie, which means that double bass thumping troll is back. He also gets to add some vocals time into the mix (for those with an overactive imagination!).
The tribal 'Skövlarens Död' is the slowest so far; the downbeat atmosphere punctured by sporadic blast beats and chugging guitars. The return to a more blackened sound is very much evident here. The tempo rockets back up to galloping with 'Skogsdotter', its unexpected Country style duelling banjos making me think of 90’s dance act'The Grid'. Expect crazy pit antics to this one!
'Häxbrygd' is another Humppa brass packed piece, with the unexpected inclusion of spooky horror deathrock aspects scattered throughout. Definitely high up there in the fun stakes. 'Tva Ormar' is another spooky one, harking back to the Elfmann-esq style featured in preceding album 'Nifelvind'. A carnival Beetlejuice theme conjures of images of evil clowns alongside that bass-troll.
'Fanskapsfylld' is a short piece lacking any of the standout features of others songs on album. It may have more of an impact if this reviewer could understand Swedish- however this has not been a barrier to enjoying rest of material, so let’s pass this off as a bit of a filler.
'Midvinterdraken' is a complex and epic finale befitting to the 43 minutes of fun, surprises and mayhem contain within ‘Blodsvept’.
There is no doubt that existing fans of Finntroll will be blown away by this album. Furthermore it possesses more than enough variety across the 11 songs, to have features appealing to all fans of quality fun folk metal. There are no songs which immediately stand out as the next 'Trollhammaren', instead this is an album to be taken as a whole. May take a few listens to grow on some, but it is a quick grower at that.
Looking forward to catching them on their upcoming tour starting in May.
Review by Victoria Fenbane